Educational Psychology & Counseling

Masters of Science in Counseling, Option in Marriage & Family Therapy

Application period for Fall 2020 is closed. Applications for Fall 2021 will open November 1, 2020, and close January 15, 2021.

For questions related to our application process and prerequisite courses, please contact Dr. Shyrea Minton, the Department’s Graduate Coordinator at mail

Both applicants and Current Students can visit the program’s dedicated website CSUNMFT.NET for further information.

Program Coordinator (COAMFTE Program Coordinator): Diane R. Gehart, Ph.D.
Program Admissions Coordinator: Mark Stevens, Ph.D.
Fieldwork Coordinator: Dana Stone, Ph.D.

About the MFT Program

The marriage and family therapy specialization within the M.S. degree in Counseling is a nationally accredited COAMFTE program that provides students with competency in the content areas required by the State Board of Behavioral Sciences for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Our mission is to train exceptional marriage and family therapists to serve needs of individuals, couples, children, and families in the the diverse communities of Southern California. We seek to provide a supportive, engage learning environment that enables our students to develop effective working relationships with diverse clients, competency in contemporary therapy theories, and a solid foundation in the field's evidence-base. Using a learning-centered, outcome-based pedagogy, our cutting-edge curriculum balances academic knowledge with clinical practice to ensure all students develop the real-world skills they need to succeed throughout their careers. Our students are prepared to provide services in community, public, and private mental health settings and eventually to serve as leaders in the field. Many students also choose to pursue doctoral studies upon graduation.

Upon completion of coursework and being awarded the degree, students are eligible to apply to the State Board for internship registration when endorsed by an officer of the University. Following completion of 3,000 hours of supervised field experience and successful passage of a written and oral examination administered by the State Board, candidates are awarded the Marriage and Family Therapy license by the State.

Please visit our MFT program webpage, which provides extensive information, guidance, and forms for applicants, students, and graduates:

Prerequisites for the Program

Prerequisites for the program must be completed prior to beginning the program: no exceptions.

 Students enrolling in the standard program must complete all prerequisites for the program no later than the summer prior to their first semester; priority is given to students having prerequisites completed at time of application.

To apply for equivalency, download the application packet and submit as directed.

Prerequisites to the M.S. Program in Family Therapy (12 Units*)
EPC 430 Development & Learning Early Childhood Education (3)
EPC 451 Fundamentals of Counseling and Guidance (3)
EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research & Measurement (3)
PSY 310 Behavior Disorders (3)
Required Classes for the MFT
Counseling Core Courses
643 Diversity in Counseling (3)
655 Counseling Theories (3)
657C Career Interventions in Mental Health Counseling (3)
671 Law and Ethics for Counselors (3)
Marriage and Family Specialization Courses
656 Counseling Children, Adolescents, and their Families (3)
670A Systemic Family Theories and the Evidence Base (3)
670B Postmodern & Cognitive Family Theories & the Evidence Base (3)
670C Psychoeducation & Group Process in Family Counseling (3)
673 Community Mental Health Counseling (3)
674 Family Development Across the Lifespan (3)
675 Chemical Dependency and Addictions Counseling (3)
677 Couples Counseling (3)
Clinical Assessment and Research Courses
603 Clinical Research and Program Evaluation (3)
679 Clinical and Outcome-Based Assessments (3)
672 Mental Health Diagnosis (3)
678 Psychopharmacology & Neurobiological Foundations (3)
Practicum and Fieldwork Courses
659A Practicum: Communication (3)
659B Practicum: Skills (3)
659P Fieldwork (3)
659Q Fieldwork (3)
690 Professional Development and Practice in the Field (1, 2, or 3 units; optional; as needed to complete field practice)
Culminating Experience
697/698 Comprehensive Exams or Thesis/Project (3-6) Note: most students require six units.
63-66 Unit program

Updated Degree in Fall 2021

We are tentatively scheduled to offer a new degree beginning Fall 2021 that will be a Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (currently, we offer the degree as a sub-option under the M.S. in Counseling). If there is a delay, we anticipate offering the degree in Fall 2022. The new degree will be 72 units and is tentatively anticipated to include the following courses:

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy

1. Marriage and Family Therapy Foundations (18 units)

EPC 643MF Diversity in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 670MFA Systemic Family Therapy Theories (3)
EPC 670MFB Postmodern and Cognitive-Behavioral Family Theories (3)
EPC 670MFC Psychoeducational and Process Groups in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 671MF Law, Ethics, and Professional Issues in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 674MF Family Development Across the Lifespan (3)

2. Advanced Intervention with Specific Populations (16 units)

EPC 656MF Therapy with Children, Adolescents, and Their Families (3)
EPC 657MF Career Interventions in Mental Health Contexts (3)
EPC 673MF Trauma-Informed Community Mental Health (3)
EPC 675MF Substance Abuse and Addictions Treatment in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 677MFA Couples and Sex Therapy (3)

EPC 677MFB Gender and Human Sexuality in Couple and Family Therapy (1)

3. Clinical Assessment and Research Courses (15 units)

EPC 603MFA Clinical Research and Program Evaluation (3)

EPC 603MFB: Introduction to Professional Writing (2)
EPC 672MFA Mental Health Assessment and Diagnosis in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 672MFB Neurobiology and Treatment of Trauma (1)
EPC 678MF Psychopharmacology & Neurobiological Foundations in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 679MF Clinical and Outcome-Based Assessment (3)

4. Practicum and Fieldwork Courses (17 units)

EPC 659MFA Introduction to Counseling Theory and Practice (3)
EPC 659MFB Practicum in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 659MFC Fieldwork in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

EPC 659MFD Fieldwork in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
EPC 690MF Advanced Fieldwork & Professional Development in Family Therapy (5)

5. Culminating Experience (6 units)

In order to complete their culminating experience, students will choose, in consultation with their culminating experience chair:

  1. Comprehensive Exam:

                              i.          Either EPC695MF Writing Seminar in Family Therapy (3) or EPC696MF Directed Graduate Research in Family Therapy (3) AND

                             ii.          EPC 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)

  2. Master’s Thesis or Project: EPC 698C Thesis/Graduate Project (6)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 72

Course Sequencing and Cohorts

All students move through the program with their assigned cohort following the same sequence of courses. The program makes every attempt to ensure students are placed in their preferred cohort; however, the program cannot guarantee that preferred days and times of course offerings will always be available.

The program is offered only in a full-time format. Students who experience unexpected extraordinary circumstances may be approved to take courses out of sequence. However, in most cases, general requests for part-time enrollment cannot be accommodated. Students must seek approval in writing from the Program Coordinator to take classes apart from their assigned cohort.

Earning Hours Towards Licensure

In the fieldwork courses, students can earn hours towards licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Students may see clients in a range of community settings, including community counseling services, county agencies, hospitals, and schools. The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling runs two agencies where some students choose to complete these requirements, one on campus and one in neighborhood locales.

The Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic is located on campus and invites outside clients in for low-fee, sliding scale counseling and therapy. The clinic uses primarily our own fieldwork students, supervised by licensed therapists. The Clinic also places student/trainees in schools in the nearby area to work with their student bodies. The phone contact for the MFCC is (818) 677 2568. Dr. Deborah Buttitta is the faculty member directing the clinic.

Strength United is an agency in the community, funded by The Department of Criminal Justice, to serve rape and domestic violence victims. There are three locations, Northridge, Van Nuys, and Canyon Country. Strength United uses student counselor/trainees under the supervision of licensed therapists. Part of the agency includes Family Preservation services, where student/trainees serve families, often in their homes. The phone contact information for SU is (818) 756-5330. 

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